The ones we never knew

It's rather strange saying goodbye to a stranger, and that’s one of the many surreal moments that comes when you lose a baby through miscarriage. Those that have been there often aren’t quite sure just what they’re supposed to feel or think, as well as the family and friends that surround them.

After we had our first baby boy, I went through the painful experience of losing my brother.  Soon after that I discovered that we were expecting our second child, and the fact that it was due around the anniversary of my brother’s death made that pregnancy even more special – a life to celebrate and bring joy after having been through such a sad time.

I was rather shocked then, when I miscarried. It was a sad experience (and rather scary going under general aesthetic at the hospital). I kept a little box with mementos in it - the positive pregnancy stick, my maternity booklet and sympathy cards... and life moved on.

I was amazed through this experience to discover how many others around me had also experienced miscarriages – many family members and friends shared with me about their losses.  Some had found it sad, others had been seriously grief stricken by their loss, especially those who had dreams and hopes shattered after previously struggling with infertility.

A few years later we had another beautiful baby boy added to our family. Not feeling that our family was quite complete, we were happy (and surprised – haha) to find I was pregnant again. The pregnancy seemed to go along fine, and once I was past the ‘safe’ pregnancy stage I began to relax. You can then imagine our shock when at 18½ weeks pregnant, no heartbeat could be found during our maternity check up. An ultrasound soon revealed a perfectly formed image of a baby with no beating heart. Although I tried, I could not hold back the sobs.

I assumed that I would be put under general aesthetic and wake up afterwards and go home. Symon left the hospital to collect my things from home, and although I felt all alone, I knew God was with me.

That day turned out to be such a full on day. Because of the stage of the pregnancy, I was told I would have to deliver it naturally. Nothing can prepare you for facing a labour without a happy ending. The labour was painful, but during it, all I could think of was all of those amazing women who have had to give birth to still born children a lot further along than ours. My heart went out to each and every one of them.

After the encouragement of my AMAZING hubby and midwife, we chose to hold and look at this tiny baby that we never got to officially meet. It’s little nose looked just like our eldest boy's nose. It had teeny-tiny toes and fingers. A few weeks later we sprinkled our baby’s ashes where my brother’s ashes were also sprinkled (a local surf beach).

The next few weeks felt like a bit of a daze. I did cry and feel depressed at times. I knew God would turn this situation into something beautiful, so I held onto that promise. I knew that one day we would get to meet these precious little people.  We could literally feel the peace of God surrounding us.

I felt to share my story to encourage those of you that have been through the loss of a child, that there is always hope in every dark situation you endure (including struggling relationships, pain or suffering, depression, loneliness). Keep holding on. Look up to Him, who can bring peace and hope in the midst of the most devastating of circumstances.

Chris Pringle (author of this book) encourages all women who have been through  the loss of a baby to write about them as part of the healing process.  This is what I have done, and encourage you to do too. xox

This post was first published on Kristy’s blog, Paisley Jade, on 6th September 2010.

Photo source

Losing a baby can feel like the most isolating experience in the world and it is something we often don’t talk openly about.  If we can let one mother (or father or grandmother) know that she is not alone in her grief, then that is a good thing.  You can help us support families experiencing baby loss by submitting your story, by leaving a comment below, and by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter.

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1 comment:

Jo Princess Warrior said...

Beauriful post. I cannot imagine what it would be like to give birth to a child knowing that the child has already left this earth. I love the book too. Was such a comfort to me. Thank you for having the courage to share your story.xo